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The 10 Greatest NBA Shooting Guards Of The 1990s

The 10 Greatest NBA Shooting Guards Of The 1990s

NBA shooting guards are the bucket getters for their respective squads. They are responsible for working the perimeter during stalled out half-court possessions and creating a shot out of nothing. The best shooting guards can also produce in the post, hit dagger fadeaway jumpers, take up playmaking duties, and play excellent defense.

The 1990s were the peak of NBA shooting guards. It was a time when masses of young players, spurred on by Magic Johnson and Larry Bird’s nightly perimeter heroics, honed their own shooting, dribbling, and isolation skills, helping alter the league’s trajectory.

The 1990s saw the NBA shift entirely away from the time of the hulking back-to-the-basket center as 2s like Michael Jordan, Clyde Drexler, Reggie Miller, and eventually Kobe Bryant dominated the league.

Below, we rank the 10 best shooting guards of the 90s.


10. Nick Anderson

Nick Anderson

Nick Anderson spent the bulk of his career playing for the Orlando Magic. He formed a solid inside-out duo with Shaq. Together they helped guide the Magic to the 1995 Eastern Conference championship before falling to the more experienced Houston Rockets in the finals.

Nick Anderson featured a sweet outside stroke connecting at a 35.6% clip from deep throughout his career. The former Illinois standout also had an excellent mid-range off-the-dribble game and an explosive first step he used to dash into the lane for a monster dunk or layup.

Anderson was never voted onto an All-Star team in the crowded Eastern Conference, and he never won a title. Still, he makes our list with career averages of 14.4 PPG, 5.1 RPG, 2.6 APG, 1.4 SPG, and 0.5 BPG.


9. Eddie Jones

Eddie Jones

1990-91 to 1999-00 Accolades:

1x Steals Leader

1x All-NBA Third Team

3x All-Defensive Second Team

3x All-Star

Eddie Jones spent the bulk of the 90s helping a Lakers team that was coming off 5 championships the previous decade stay competitive. He was a stopgap between Magic Johnson and Kobe Bryant, who wasn’t good enough to make the Hall-Of-Fame, but was a hell of a shooting guard in his own right.

Eddie Jones was excellent on the fun side of the ball. He blended a smooth outside stroke (37.3 3P% for his career) with a Derrick Rose-like slithering/slashing style he used to pressure the rim against opposing defenses.

Still, Eddie Jones truly made a name for himself on the less fun end. E.J. was a disruptive force on defense, routinely jumping passing lanes, getting hundreds of steals and deflections every season. Jones was too thin to be a genuine lockdown wing, but he held his own on the perimeter, going 110% at all times and using his quick feet to stay in front of his assignment.

Eddie Jones finished his career averaging 14.8 PPG, 4.0 RPG, 2.9 APG, 1.7 SPG, and 0.6 BPG. He was also selected to the All-Star team three times, and he was NBA steals leader during the 1999-20 season.


8. Latrell Sprewell

020916-nba-latrell-sprewell-pi-mp-vresize-1200-675-high-14

1990-91 to 1999-00 Accolades:

1x All-NBA First Team

1x All-Defensive Second Team

3x All-Star

Latrell Sprewell was one of the most talented shooting guards of the 1990s who, unfortunately, is best remembered for choking head coach P. J. Carlesimo.

Sprewell was a force of nature on the court. He used his lethal first step, incredible finishing ability at the rim, and solid mid-range game to shoot up to the league’s mountaintop as fast as we’ve ever seen from a perimeter player. Sprewell made the All-Star team and was named All-NBA First Team in 1994 during just his second season as he helped the Warriors make the postseason for the first time in what seemed like forever.

Latrell Sprewell continued to dominate the Western Conference during the mid-90s topping out in 1996-97 with an impressive slash-line of 24.2 PPG, 6.3 APG, and 4.6 RPG. And after he snapped with Carlesimo and was traded to the Knicks, he teamed up with Patrick Ewing and Allan Houston helping New York reach the NBA Finals in 1999 under head coach Jeff Van Gundy before bowing out to the San Antonio Spurs.

Latrell Sprewell finished his career a four-time All-Star while averaging 18.3 PPG, 4.1 RPG, 4.0 APG, 1.4 SPG, and 0.4 BPG.


7. Kobe Bryant

(via Bleacher Report)

(via Bleacher Report)

1990-91 to 1999-00 Accolades:

1x NBA Champion

1x All-NBA Second Team

1x All-NBA Third Team

1x All-Defensive First Team

2x All-Star

Kobe Bryant played only four seasons in the 90s but dominated so thoroughly, he makes our list.

You know the story. Kobe Bryant struggled during his first season in the league, a skinny teenager out of high school who was overmatched. He hit the lab during the offseason and came into his second year stronger and more prepared to play with grown men as he averaged 15.4 PPG and was voted an All-Star starter by the fans despite not starting for his own team, the Lakers. By Kobe’s fourth year in the association, he was the best shooting guard in the world. He made the All-Star team, was named All-NBA Second Team, All-Defensive First Team, and combined with Shaq to win his first title.

Kobe Bryant would go on to terrorize the league throughout his career, averaging 25.0 PPG, 5.2 RPG, 4.7 APG, 1.4 SPG, and 0.5 BPG as he merged some of the best post footwork ever seen with a ridiculous drive game and 125% I-want-to-break-you defense.


6. Allan Houston

NBA Fans React To 50-Year-Old Allan Houston Draining Threes With Ease: "Only Missed 5 Shots In 30min. He Different."

1990-91 to 1999-00 Accolades:

1x All-Star

Allan Houston was a 6-6, 200-pound shooting guard who spent the bulk of his career flourishing in the New York pressure cooker that turns most NBA players into stew.

Houston featured one of the 90s best mid-range games, combining his height, high release, smooth jumper, and a solid bag of old-school tricks to confound opposing defenders. The former Tennessee star was also an excellent long-distance marksman, spreading the floor nicely for teammates Latrell Sprewell and Patrick Ewing. He finished his career with a 40.2% mark from deep, joining the elusive over-40% from distance club.

Allan Houston was a one-way player. He was an outstanding defender, using his length to harass opposing shooting guards across all levels of the court. He ended his career with a solid 20.8 defensive win shares while helping the 90s Knicks become one of the most feared defensive squads of all time.

Allan Houston helped the Pistons and Knicks make the playoffs five times, respectively, throughout the 90s, and he finished his career averaging 17.3 PPG, 2.9 RPG, 2.4 APG, 0.7 SPG, and 0.2 BPG.


5. Joe Dumars

Joe Dumars

1990-91 to 1999-00 Accolades:

1x All-NBA Second Team

1x All-NBA Third Team

2x All-Defensive First Team

5x All-Star

Joe Dumars was brought up in the Chuck Daly school of hard-nose-bone-breaking-destroy-the-opposition defense. He helped the Pistons win back-to-back titles during the 1988-89 and 1989-90 seasons while going 120% on the less fun end, and he brought that same mentality with him into the 90s.

Joe Dumars was one of the best two-way shooting guards the NBA has seen. He had an excellent outside stroke, routinely shooting over 40% from deep and ending his career with a 38.2% three-point clip. Dumars was also fearless, driving toward the rack, bursting past his defender, and getting up a shot at the rim among the trees no matter what type of pounding he would take. Broadway Joe also played lockdown perimeter defense, hounding his man the entire length of the court, making his life hell for the night.

Joe Dumars ended his career as a four-time All-Defensive First Team member, a six-time All-Star, and a Hall-of-Famer with career averages of 16.1 PPG, 2.2 RPG, 4.5 APG, 0.9 SPG, and 0.1 BPG.


4. Mitch Richmond

mitch richmond

1990-91 to 1999-00 Accolades:

3x All-NBA Second Team

2x All-NBA Third Team

6x All-Star

Mitch Richmond was drafted by the Warriors but spent the bulk of the 90s suiting up for the Sacramento Kings. Richmond was one of the first high-volume long-distance shooters in the NBA. He was adept at working screens to find a slither of space from deep, and he also had an excellent off-the-dribble three-point shot. Richmond’s long-distance peak isn’t at Stephen Curry’s level, but it’s close. Have a look:

1995-96:

Richmond shot 43.7% from beyond the arc off 6.4 attempts per game

1996-97:

Richmond shot 42.8% from beyond the arc off 5.9 attempts per game

Mitch Richmond wasn’t just an outside shooter. He leveraged his shooting stroke and a bag of pump fakes to get into the lane and assault the rim, and he was a decent playmaker from the SG position, routinely setting up his teammates with easy looks.

Mitch Richmond ended his career in 2002 with a title on the Lakers. He was also named to the Hall-of-Fame and was a six-time All-Star. Richmond averaged an excellent 21.0 PPG throughout his 14 NBA seasons, along with 3.9 RPG, 3.5 APG, 1.2 SPG, and 0.3 BPG.


3. Reggie Miller

'Reggie Miller Would Average 30 Just On Threes Alone,' Says Former Teammate

1990-91 to 1999-00 Accolades:

3x All-NBA Third Team

4x All-Star

Reggie Miller’s 1990s award resume seems light for a player with his skill set. Sure, he made the All-Star team four times and was named All-NBA Third Team three times, but he deserved more recognition for his play in Indiana.

The Knick Killer (one of the best nicknames ever) was a rail-thin shooting guard who looked like he should have been bullied relentlessly in the NBA. Reggie’s lack of prototypical size didn’t matter. He was one of the most durable players of all time, missing only 13 total games throughout the 90s.

13 total games!!!!!

He was a killer from behind the arc, routinely finishing among the leaders in three-point shooting, and he ended his career with a 39.5% mark from deep. More importantly, Uncle Reg was death when it mattered most. The league didn’t keep clutch statistics at the start of Miller’s career, but we know between 1997 through 2005, he made the most three-point field goals in crunch time in the NBA (regular season and playoffs combined).

Miller led the Pacers to the postseason nine times during the 90s, making the finals once. He finished his career as a Hall-of-Famer and a member of the NBA 75th Anniversary Team, averaging 18.2 PPG, 3.0 RPG, 3.0 APG, 1.1 SPG, and 0.2 BPG.


2. Clyde Drexler

Clyde Drexler

1990-91 to 1999-00 Accolades:

1x NBA Champion

1x All-NBA First Team

1x All-NBA Second Team

1x All-NBA Third Team

6x All-Star

Clyde Drexler owned one of the smoothest games in the NBA’s long history. He bewitched opposing defenses by gliding down the court, two-stepping from the three-point line to the rack for a long-armed scoop shot at the rim. Drexler was a menace with his lane assaults, but he also possessed an excellent mid-range game, not quite at Jordan’s level, but deadly all the same. Clyde the Glide would palm the ball outside of the key, maintaining his dribble as he used the threat of a drive to the rack along with a series of jab steps to create space for his smooth jumper or a fadeaway when it was necessary.

Drexler was also an elite defender. He used his length to take a step off his assignments, allowing him to eliminate some of their burst to the rack while also containing their shots. He finished his 16-year career with an excellent 49.9 defensive win shares and a 105 defensive rating.

Clyde Drexler made the playoffs five times in the early 90s with the Portland Trail Blazers but found championship success after teaming up with Hakeem the Dream in Houston during the 1994-95 season. Drexler ended his career by averaging 20.4 PPG, 6.1 RPG, 5.6 APG, 2.0 SPG, and 0.7 BPG. He is also a member of the Hall-of-Fame, the NBA 75th Anniversary Team, and the 10-time All-Star club.


1. Michael Jordan

Michael Jordan Bulls

1990-91 to 1999-00 Accolades:

6x NBA Champion

4x NBA MVP

6x Finals MVP

6x Scoring Leader

1x Steals Leader

6x All-NBA First Team

6x All-Defensive First Team

6x All-Star

This is the least surprising first-place finish in a rankings article ever. Michael Jordan was not only the best athlete in the world during the 90s, but you could argue he was the most successful person on the planet. He conquered the NBA like a six-year-old boy stomping on an anthill, amassed a fortune, and became one of the most recognizable figures in the world.

Michael Jordan and the Bulls won six titles between 1991 and 1998. MJ also picked up four MVP awards, six Finals MVP Awards, and was named All-NBA First Team six times as he blended the most lethal offensive repertoire of all time with the best perimeter defense (again) of all time.

Michael Jordan finished his career with an absurd 30.1 PPG average along with 6.2 RPG, 5.3 APG, 2.3 SPG, and 0.8 BPG. Other players like LeBron James can try to add to their legacies, but MJ is the GOAT, and it might be another 50 years before we see another NBA player come close to matching his greatness.

The 90s Featured Some Of The Best Shooting Guards of All Time

Michael Jordan was (of course) the best shooting guard of the 1990s, a world-famous icon who destroyed the league. Still, Clyde Drexler was an excellent 2, combining a sweet mid-range jumper with his easy saunters into the lane. Reggie Miller was a clutch phenom, and Mitch Richmond was the best high volume three-point marksman of the decade.

Joe Dumars was a defensive menace for the Pistons, and Allan Houston used his smooth jumper to help lead the Knicks to the finals. Kobe Bryant began his legendary career towards the back end of the 90s, picking up his first championship, and Latrell Sprewell dominated the Western Conference during the early stages of the decade. Eddie Jones and Nick Anderson also made our list as solid two-way wings.

Next

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